Did you know that a fifth of the population in the United States suffers from misaligned teeth? Misaligned teeth might only seem like an aesthetic issue, but they can actually cause a lot of problems such as jaw pain and the inability to eat or speak correctly. Both children and adults can suffer from crooked teeth and the solution is to get braces or aligners. 

But is there any difference between adult braces and children’s braces? As it turns out, the real difference is not between the types of braces but how long it takes for the braces to do their magic. Keep reading and learn more about the differences between adult and pediatric braces below.

The Difference between Adult and Pediatric Braces

When it comes to the difference between adult and pediatric orthodontics, you will find that the options for braces are more or less the same. Some of the most popular options for braces are metal braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners such as Invisalign. All of these braces accomplish the same thing: the straightening of teeth. 

For that reason, there are not a lot of differences between adult braces vs kids’ braces. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any differences at all. The main difference has to do with the fact that the jawbone of a child is still developing while the jawbone of an adult is not. 

For that reason, a child’s teeth tend to be more mobile even if the child already has most of his adult teeth. On the other hand, an adult’s jawbone is firmer and, as a result, the adult’s teeth will be rooted more firmly into the jawbone. This can extend the length it takes to get straight teeth for an adult. 

In contrast, because a child’s teeth have not yet settled into place, it will be much faster and easier to straighten a child’s teeth. There are also fewer problems a dentist will need to worry about when straightening a child’s teeth. That’s because children don’t often have the more serious dental issues that adults have such as cavities and tooth decay. 

For that reason, the dentist will be able to focus more on straightening a child’s teeth than an adult’s teeth. When getting braces for an adult, the dentist will need to examine the adult’s teeth more thoroughly to make sure there are no serious dental problems to deal with before applying the braces. 

The preference of the individual is also an important difference between braces for adults and children. 

Metal and Ceramic Braces

Metal and ceramic braces are some of the most common options for both adults and children looking to get straight teeth. Metal braces make for the most classic option and you will often see them more on children than adults. That’s because adults tend to be more apprehensive about wearing metal braces because they are more visible and bulky. 

However, while metal braces might not look professional for adults, they can be fun for children. Metal braces even come with rubber bands that wrap around each bracket. These rubber bands can come in all sorts of colors that children will surely find delightful. 

Metal braces are very sturdy and they are also some of the most affordable braces on the market. However, they do have some downsides. For example, because they are bulky and have some rough edges, they may irritate the inside of your mouth for the first few weeks. 

After a while, the inside of your mouth should toughen up and the discomfort should no longer be a problem. It is important to brush your teeth regularly when you have braces, otherwise, the braces might leave stains on your teeth. 

Ceramic braces are much thinner than metal braces and they are also less visible. For that reason, they can be a great choice for adults or children. They can blend in well with your smile because ceramic braces are designed to match the color of your teeth. 

The downside is that ceramic braces are not usually as strong as metal braces. But you shouldn’t have to worry about their durability too much as long as you’re not munching on hard objects like ice all day. You should also be sure to brush your teeth regularly because ceramic braces can end up stained over time.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are great for both adults and children although they tend to be more popular for adults. This may be because they are more expensive. Another reason may be because clear aligners can allow adults to feel more comfortable in professional settings.

Clear aligners are practically invisible, but the benefits don’t stop there. Another great thing about clear aligners is that you can remove them from your mouth whenever you feel like it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should remove them whenever you want. 

To get the best results, you will need to keep the clear aligners in your mouth for around 23 hours every day. You will need to wear them while you sleep as well. The only time you should take out your clear aligners is when you need to eat or clean your teeth. 

If you try to eat with clear aligners, you might end up ruining the form of the aligner which will also ruin your chances of having straight teeth.

Child and Adult Braces

While there are a few differences between child and adult braces, the main difference has to do with the jawbone. Children have mouths that are still developing which makes it easier and faster to straighten their teeth. On the other hand, the mouths of adults are already developed, so it can take a bit longer to achieve straight teeth.

Whatever the case, metal and ceramic braces and clear aligners are all good choices for adults and children. To learn more, contact us here.